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This course provides a broad education in computer science with a particular focus on software systems development.


Study Computer Science (Software Systems Development) at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

This course is offered at the Magee campus by the Faculty of Computing and Engineering. If you are interested in computer software design, how computers communicate and how they actually perform their tasks, then this course is for you. This course will equip you with a varied computer science education based upon the development and improvement of your programming skills throughout. You will also learn to apply best practice in all areas of software development. After you complete this course you will have the skills necessary to pursue a career in computing in a wide range of commercial and industrial organisations.

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About this course

In this section


The Computer Science (Software Systems Development) course covers all the necessary skills you will need to be a computing professional, from idea generation to system implementation.

During the half of the course, you will advance your programming skills and develop the necessary capabilities to design, build, operate and maintain complex computer systems. The modules within the course provide an excellent platform for skill development through practical application.

During the second half of the course, you will get exposed to more advanced topics to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of software systems development. Through your Final Year Project you will also gain practical experience in the planning, development and implementation of a computing system, which can be used to showcase your skillset to future employers.


This course is part-time. Part-time students are taught alongside full-time students, and modules are scheduled to accommodate day-release from employment.

Each student must complete between 40 and 80 credits (usually two to four modules) in each academic year. Modules are taught on campus on a single day per module basis and are web-supplemented.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Computer Networks and Operating Systems

Year: 1

This module provides an in-depth study of computer, communications and networks. This module will introduce the concepts and principles of computer networks to guide the installation and maintenance of modern, high quality reliable networks. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to configure and test networks, deploy network based software applications and resolve network infrastructural problems. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of basic skills in networking, and an appreciation for emerging themes that could impact networking in the future. Students will also have a basis for undertaking further development work/research in the area of Computer Operating Systems, a fundamental core and vital area of computing with a particular emphasis on the emerging networking systems paradigm.

Object oriented programming

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to object-oriented software development in C++. At completion of this subject students should have an understanding of object-oriented programming paradigm and appreciate the evolutionary nature of current object-oriented languages; understand the issues involved in implementing a system in an object-oriented language and realise how object-oriented languages impact on program performance, reliability and maintenance; and have mastered a programming paradigm and language relevant to current commercial standards

Algorithms and Data Structures

Year: 1

The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year I algorithmic programming. Students are introduced to the classic data structures and algorithms that are used to process them, the specification of methods and classes and the measurement of algorithm performance.

Interactive Interface Design

Year: 1

This module introduces the principles and practice of HCI, ID and UX, such as design guidelines, interface evaluation, analysis and design techniques and tool support. This will enhance their ability to take a professional approach to interface development. This module will aim to give students a depth of knowledge of relevant concepts and to present a practical and pragmatic approach to user interface design and evaluation.

Object-Oriented Modelling

Year: 1

This module investigates the concepts, methodologies and techniques used in object-oriented systems development, including coverage of use case analysis, static and dynamic system modelling, and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The module will also give the student a sound knowledge of the contemporary problems of analysing and designing effective systems in modern industrial and commercial environments.

Research Studies and Project Management

Year: 1

This module is designed to equip students with the appropriate research and project management skills needed to complete a project within the Computing domain. Firstly, the module provides an underpinning foundation of research concepts, methods and techniques necessary for project development and delivery. Secondly, the different stages of the research process are demonstrated. Thirdly, the students employ skills developed during the module to create a set of project deliverables such as project plan and proposal, critically reviewed literature papers, literature review and project presentation. Embedded in all these activities is the reinforcement of the need for adhering to recognised ethical standards and taking a professional approach to carrying out research.

Concurrent and Distributed Systems

Year: 1

This module provides a theoretical foundation in the area of concurrent and distributed systems. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these types of systems are now manifest in a wide range of internet/intranet based application domains. The module first covers the key theory and design principles and then provides a learning path for software development in this exciting and evolving area of computing/engineering. As a consequence it facilitates students to develop expertise in the core skills area of multithreaded, networked and web -enabled computer systems.

Software Engineering

Year: 1

The module provides the student with knowledge, understanding and practical experience of developing software systems using Object Oriented Modeling techniques, industry standard software development tools and technologies. On completion of the module a typical student should have a thorough understanding of the role and function of a Software Engineering professional and be empowered to practise their skills in an ethical manner in the software development arena.

Enterprise Computing

Year: 1

This module will expose students to the world of heterogeneous enterprise computing architecture with an emphasis on networked, distributed applications. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these systems are now manifest in a wide range of web based applications. The module first gives you an understanding of the role and function of the core technologies involved and then addresses the design principles required for developing enterprise computing applications. As a consequence, it aims to meet the needs of today's undergraduate students who wish to equip themselves with expertise in implementing enterprise wide computing systems.

Mobile Technology

Year: 1

This module addresses and develops key and emerging concepts in Mobile Software Applications Development and is essential knowledge for electronic and computer science graduates

Final Year Project

Year: 1

Students are required to undertake an individual project during the final year of the course. Its purpose is to provide an experience of developing a software/hardware/engineering solution to a realistic problem. This work combines skills and knowledge acquired previously on the course with those acquired during the project. In particular, students will have an opportunity to (i) strengthen their competence in project management, in taking an initial concept through to a successful implementation; and (ii) enhance their communication skills, in producing a dissertation and defending the work.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

A levels are not a requirement for this course. You must normally have:

I. A Higher National Diploma in Computing;

II. A Higher National Certificate in Computing with typically an all-merit profile;

III. Any equivalent qualification.

The Faculty of Computing and Engineering does not accept students with Essential Skills in Application of Number as the only mathematics qualification. Please contact the Faculty Office directly on Tel: 028 90 366305 if you have a query concerning this matter. You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent). If you have other qualifications than those listed, you may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Courses’ Coordinator following an interview.


GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or above in Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Lectures are used to present theory and concepts, and are supported through a combination of tutorial discussion and practical, laboratory exercises.

Modules are either assessed by coursework only or by a combination of coursework and formal examinations (January and May). Coursework assessment is carried out using any combination of written assignments, class tests, presentations, and group assignments as appropriate to meet the learning outcomes of each module.

Exemptions and transferability

Transfer between this course and other similar courses within the Faculty of Computing and Engineering may be possible on the basis of academic performance and availability of places.

Exemption from parts may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL).

The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Graduates with computer science and software systems development skills will find many career opportunities available to them in developing new software. On completing this course successfully, students will be able to choose from a number of career options such as software engineer, computer programmer, computing consultant, or systems’ manager or administrator. Skills developed in the course will always be in strong demand, as virtually every modern enterprise needs increasing numbers of computer-literate graduates.

Opportunities for postgraduate study in computing, engineering or related areas are substantial. The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.

Professional recognition

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

Academic profile

Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body - the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry, and many modules on the course are directly informed by staff research activities.


How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016


For admission related queries please contact:

Mrs Mairin Nicell

T: +44 (0) 28 7167 5148



Faculty Office

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305